A Quilt for the Quiltmaker: Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Spring 2012

My very first quilt, my childhood special blanky, was from Ma (my maternal grandmother).  I treasure each of the quilts she’s made for me.  She not only taught me to quilt, I learned the joy of giving from her, a woman who made so many lap quilts for the local nursing homes over the years, that she ended up getting one she made when she had to go to the nursing home this year.

We’ve been very blessed in my family to enjoy my Grandparents living long and healthy lives.  This January when I moved to Harrisburg, both of my Mother’s parents were with me, Pa helping to reassemble furniture and Ma setting up my pantry.  And in February we all celebrated my Grandfather’s 90th birthday.

It was a hard decision to move back to Pennsylvania, but being closer to my Grandparents was definitely on the Pro list.  Unfortunately that became even more true the past two months as Ma’s health steadily declined.  And as she’s been back and forth between the hospital and the nursing home, I’ve been incredibly grateful that I’m just two hours away and able to visit often.

She seems to finally be on the mend a bit now, though her mobility is still quite limited, but when she first went into the hospital we really had no idea what was going on and I was worried sick about her.  That first week, sitting in my apartment two hours away seemed much to far.  I absolutely HAD to do something to keep busy.  So, I channeled my grandmother as best I could, and cleaned my apartment to within an inch of it’s life, baked some cookies, and made a quilt.

I started with some handkerchief butterfly blocks that were appliqued and given to me by my other grandmother. I embroidered them, pieced the top, sandwiched, and hand quilted the quilt in a little under two weeks.

Though it’s not my modern style, it is the most important quilt I’ve ever made, perhaps the most important quilt I could ever make.  I hope Ma knows exactly how much it means to me to share the love of quilting with her.  More importantly, I hope she knows that I fell in love with quilting because of how much I love her and love spending time with her.  I’m at a loss for words to say how proud I am to be her granddaughter, so I’ll just close with the quilt label:

To Ma, with love, Jill

I know this is a lot of story for the BQF, when there are so many blogs to visit and so many quilts to see, so if you’ve read the whole way to the end here, thank you for taking that time.  I hope you enjoy all the quilts in the festival.   I know I can’t wait for a good evening of virtual quilt show.  And, of course, a big thank you to Amy for hosting this again!


69 responses to “A Quilt for the Quiltmaker: Bloggers’ Quilt Festival Spring 2012

  1. Your quilt is beautiful and really special! Thank you for sharing your story with your amazing Ma! x Teje

  2. Read your blog before I left for work this morning. Cried the whole way to work! I am so blessed to have a beautiful daughter with a beautiful heart. Love you, Mom

  3. Beautiful– As is your heart.

  4. Such a special quilt! Grandmas are so special! I try every day to be the kind of grandma mine was.

  5. Beautiful quilt, precious story.

  6. It is a beautiful quilt and such a lovely story.

  7. One of my grandmothers loved to quilt. I had to teach myself. Sometimes I wonder what she would think of all my sewing. You are so blessed to know!

  8. beautiful quilt and story wish I had old hankies like that

  9. Very special quilt!!! What an incredible story! It was worth the read ;)!

  10. Absolutely wonderful quilt – pretty and with a great story behind it.

  11. What a precious and defining quilt. This is a wonderful, personal story and thank you for sharing a bit of your Ma with us through the story of this quilt.

  12. A beautiful classic quilt, exacting fitting to your story and the care you have for your grandmother!

  13. charmante histoire et quilt original ,félicitations

  14. What a special quilt! Thanks for sharing it and the story!

  15. Enjoyed reading your story on your grandparents. How lucky to still have them in your life! You did a great job on the quilt!

  16. Libby Humphrey

    A beautiful quilt and a touching story. I never got to know my grandmothers as they both died before I was old enough, so it’s touching to read how much you value yours, and the comment from your mum touched my heart! Good luck in the competition!

  17. What a lovely heartwarming story! Thanks for sharing ;-))

  18. what a fun way to use those beautiful old hankies–i have a lot of them–should try this! precious story and precious quilt. thanks for sharing and have a great day

  19. I’ve never seen hankie butterflies!! Such a beautiful quilt and a touching story.

  20. Absolutly a very touching story Jill, I knew your Grandparents ment so much to you, but after reading this story, I can see they mean the world to you. You are a very special granddaughter and so very talented. Flossie taught you well!!!!!

  21. A lovely sweet story! How lucky you are to have such a special grandma. The quilt will have meaning for you forever.

  22. Lovely quilt and touching story!

  23. What a beautiful quilt and what a beautiful story! I wish I still had my grandmother with me. Althought she is gone now, her love of embroidery and cross stitch has stayed with me and I continue it now and hopefully can teach my granddaughters one day as well 🙂

  24. Thank you for sharing your story. I am certain that your grandma treasures the beautiful quilt you made.

  25. So touching to read and feel and see and sense this love in every detail! Beautiful quilt!

  26. Beautiful quilt with a beautiful sentiment.

  27. Such a gorgeous quilt and a beautiful story, Im sure your Ma will know just how much she means to you. Thanks for sharing,

  28. Beautiful quilt and story! Thanks for Sharing!

  29. Such a beautiful quilt. I hope your grandmother is doing better. It is so hard to watch as our loved ones loose their mobility and independence.

  30. Beautiful story for a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Thank you for sharing your story! It was a pleasure to read. The quilt is absolutely beautiful, and so special. 🙂

  32. Oh my goodness, this one really got to me! The story of this quilt is so, so sweet, and it makes the finished object that much more beautiful and meaningful. Thanks you SO much for sharing this!

  33. such a beautiful quilt and such a beautiful story. My Grandma is also so precious to me and spent hours teaching me when I was young.
    Thank you also for stopping by and visiting me and leaving your lovely comment.

  34. Lovely buttterflies 🙂 Great story too! Avis x

  35. The best part of a quilt is the story. Sometimes only the quilter knows the story. It’s always nice to hear the them and yours is especially sweet for all the love your grandmother shares with you.

  36. It’s wonderful to see so many great quilts during the festival, but what makes it really special is being able to read stories such as yours. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing the story behind it.

  38. Lovely butterfly quilt with hankies.

  39. I had tears in my eyes reading about your grandmother, and the special love you have for her. I lost my own grandmum about 20 years ago, and never does a day go by that I don’t think of her. I still reach for the phone to call her, lol! I have a ton of her hankies, and I love your quilt so much, would you be offended if I took some of them and copied your idea? I would love to honor her memory in a quilt. Big big hugs to you AND your grandmum….

  40. Your grandparents are adorable! I’m glad your Ma’s on the mend, and I bet she loves your quilt. 🙂

  41. Such a beautiful story and quilt! I love the handkerchief butterflies.

  42. This is so special, thanks for sharing! Beautiful quilt, even if it isn’t your typical, modern style~

  43. Such a lovely quilt and a beautiful story behind it too. She must love having such a special gift from you. Juliex

  44. Beautiful quilt and a beautiful story!

  45. Wonderful quilt with a beautiful story.

  46. Such a lovely story. The quilt is lovely and I envision it becoming your family heirloom to hand down through many generations. You are very lucky to have it x x x

  47. That is a beautiful quilt! What a special family you have.
    The first quilt I made last August was for my Nanny, she’s 93 so I totally empathise.
    Thank you for your kind comment about my Pezzy quilt too x

  48. Such a beautiful quilt. And yes, a very important one! Such a lovely way to honor such a special lady.

  49. Oh my this is just beautiful! And your grandparents are just too cute! I want to just hug them:) I hope that your grandmother continues to get better!

  50. Such a special quilt, thank you so much for sharing it and the story. That is a wonderful gift for your Ma.

  51. I LOVE the quilt you made for your dear Ma. The butterflies are so adorable, and the hand quilting very pretty. Thank you for sharing the story of the quilt with us!

  52. I think butterfly quilts are fabulous. Your story is beautiful. My grandmother was a very important person in my life- I did make her a colorwash quilt that she was able to enjoy for awhile before she passed on. She would have loved your butterfly quilt as much as I do. What a wonderful tradition you can continue. Regards,

  53. The quilt is perfect and the story behind it is so special. Thank you for sharing.

  54. My mom gave me a collection of family hankies about a month before she died and asked me to make a quilt. Been thinking about a butterfly quilt becuase she asked if I could make something without cutting the hankies. Not exactly my style either, but after seeing yours, I’m starting to get excited about actually starting this project. Thank you.

  55. I have never seen a quilt made like this before, it is beautiful. Your story touched my heart, so special.

  56. Lovely and special quilt.

  57. What a special quilt and relationship that you have with your grandma. You are one lucky lady. I like your hankie quilt.

  58. Barbara H. Cline

    So special, I enjoyed your story. I also went back and looked at your blog on the PA Mennonite Relief sale. I always go to the VA Mennonite Relief Sale and usually donate a quilt or wall quilt. Last year I donated my book “Star Struck Quilts” and one of the quilts featured in the book. This year I plan to do the same thing with my book “Simply Triangles”, not sure yet which quilt I will donate.

    • Thanks Barbara! I donated two baby quilts to the VA sale last year, nothing special enough to be featured in the book or anything though. Not sure what I’m sending this year, something though, it’s my North Carolina Church’s Ten year Anniversary, want to donate a quilt in honor of that. I’ll have to be on the look out for your name this year.

  59. What a beautiful quilt! I love how you incorporated your grandmother in your quilt. And the quilting in each block is great too!

  60. Another wonderful story about the love between generations of women. That handkerchief quilt is somethin’ special–so representative of that generation of ladies who always had a hankie in their purse–sometimes next to the mints, sometimes used to wipe away a tear, sometimes used to fold up and entertain the children. Lovely!


  61. Such a great story, and what a lovely design. You should be so proud of such a lovely quilt and gift!

  62. Elizabeth E. mention using the handkerchiefs to fold up and entertain the children. I don’t know if Jill remembers but Ma used to do that and make a baby in a cradle for her during church when she was little!

  63. I love how quilts can lock in memories. What a beautiful story.

  64. I really appreciated the story and the love you have for your grandmother. This is just so beautiful and I can fully relate to baking and sewing to burn off anxious energy. Thank you for sharing this and the story of your grandmother.

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